Yarnell residents hope the federal government will reconsider sending money to help

PRESCOTT, AZ - Arizona is asking the federal government to reconsider and open its arms to Yarnell. 

A June wildfire in the small town killed 19 firefighters and destroyed more than 100 homes. 

Governor Jan Brewer says uninsured damage is beyond what the feds realize, and rebuilding will require their help.

"Such disaster relief would do so much for Arizona, not the least of which is help homeowners who lost everything," Brewer said.

Covering the uninsured losses and rebuilding the water system would cost less than $20 million, but the Governor says the state shouldn't have to use its hefty reserves. 

Yarnell residents hope the feds will reconsider too. Robert Westall was home when the Yarnell Hill Fire started.

"You know how you open that oven when you're making cookies or a cake or something like that and you feel that blast of heat? That hit me in the back," he said.

He stayed as long as he could to try and protect his property.

"You could see this thing coming. I mean, it was the most frightening thing I've ever had happen to me, period," he said.

Westall realized if he wanted to live he needed to leave.

"Well it basically burned my house down, everything I own, killed my pets my animals. It basically took my life away, entirely. Every bit of it," he said.

It's been an exhausting road for Westall, living with the guilt that he's alive because 19 men aren't and learning the home he grew up in no longer exists.

"My insurance is not going to cover my losses. It's going to cover my structure and it's going to cover some of my personal things but it's not going to cover everything. Period," he said.

When Westall found out the federal government wasn't going to help, it was more than he could handle.

"I'm paying my taxes I live here, I would assume that when something like this happens and it's this bad that somebody's going to help and to this day we haven't gotten any," he said.

Westall said he hopes Governor Brewer's plea will make a difference.

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